Commercial clients: roles and responsibilities
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)
CDM 2015 makes a distinction between commercial clients and domestic clients. Client duties apply in full to commercial clients (for domestic clients the duties normally pass to other dutyholders).
A commercial client is any individual or organisation that carries out a construction project as part of a business.
Commercial clients have a crucial influence over how projects are run, including the management of health and safety risks. Whatever the project size, the commercial client has contractual control, appoints designers and contractors, and determines the money, time and other resources for the project.
For all projects, commercial clients must:
- make suitable arrangements for managing their project, enabling those carrying it out to manage health and safety risks in a proportionate way. These arrangements include:
- appointing the contractors and designers to the project (including the principal designer and principal contractor on projects involving more than one contractor) while making sure they have the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability
- allowing sufficient time and resources for each stage of the project
- making sure that any principal designer and principal contractor appointed carry out their duties in managing the project
- making sure suitable welfare facilities are provided for the duration of the construction work
- maintain and review the management arrangements for the duration of the project
- provide pre-construction information to every designer and contractor either bidding for the work or already appointed to the project
- ensure that the principal contractor or contractor (for single contractor projects) prepares a construction phase plan before that phase begins
- ensure that the principal designer prepares a health and safety file for the project and that it is revised as necessary and made available to anyone who needs it for subsequent work at the site
For notifiable projects (where planned construction work will last longer than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time; or where the work exceeds 500 individual worker days), commercial clients must: